Were you there when Michael Jackson’s music video for “Black or White” first premiered during an episode of The Simpsons? I was. And although the main video was pretty cool — those morphing faces were awesome — the part at the end where Jackson beat up a car with a sledgehammer still haunts me. It felt like this was a man who did not accept himself fully, and it made me very sad. He was a brilliant entertainer but was not comfortable in his own skin. I hope you are not in the same boat and that you accept yourself, warts and all.
Here’s a quick litmus test for your state of self-acceptance:
- Do you find yourself often trying to be and act like someone else?
- Do you evaluate your self-worth based on your performance or results?
- Do you find yourself belittling your looks? your intelligence? or some other measure?
You’re doing well if you answered “no” to all three questions.
Feeling comfortable and accepting yourself is important if you want to lead a fulfilling and happy life. If your litmus test results weren’t as good as you’d wish, here are some things you can do to learn how to better accept yourself.
It is easier to accept yourself when you know your values and the kind of person you want to be. So, a good first step is to ask yourself a couple of questions:
- Who is the person that you want to become? Describe this person in detail.
- What are the things that you really care about?
- Is there anything or anyone who you may lose if you start to live the life you truly want?
Get a notebook, journal or piece of paper and write your answers out in detail. This way you have a full description of the person you want to become and why. To help you with that second question, you might consider doing this free values exercise.
Accept Yourself — Including Your Faults
During this inward journey, you also need to understand and accept that nobody is perfect. Every person has faults, and you have to learn to live with them. You are now ready to begin living your life the way you want to, and the way you deserve to.
Loving yourself is key to self-acceptance. You may have parts of you that you are very happy with. Conversely, you may have parts that you could live without. You have to stop hating that less-than-ideal part of yourself and work on improving the way you view these aspects of yourself.
If what you don’t like are bad habits, work on changing them. But if these parts of yourself are qualities that can’t be changed, accept them and move on. We all have quirks. For all you know, those parts you don’t like may just be what makes you more relatable and lovable! They may identify what is unique about you as a person. Learn to love your quirks!
Focus on how you can do things that showcase the person you really are. If you want to speak out about something, then do so. Don’t stay quiet just because your friends or family may not approve. Always try to stay true to yourself as much as possible.
Also, when you are tempted to follow the crown (as we all do from time to time), but don’t give in to that temptation, reward yourself! Do a happy dance. Put a star or happy face sticker on that day in your calendar. Find ways to reward yourself that give you a happy buzz, but don’t lead to bad habits. (A cookie each time you do something good can lead to more pounds on your hips than you want! LOL)
Keep an “Accept Yourself” Journal
Before going to bed each night ask yourself if you were the best person that you could possibly be that day. Did you make the right choices or did you let fear keep you hiding in the shadows?
Journal about what you did right and why you did that. Journal about where you could improve and why you didn’t fully accept and demonstrate yourself at that moment. Don’t beat yourself up. This is a journey. And, sometimes, there are very good reasons to hold your tongue.
Keep on trekkin’
The journey of accepting yourself will take time, and yes, it may not always be easy. I still have my ups and downs, and I’ve been working at this for years. Just remember that you are doing this for yourself and for your loved ones. By becoming the person you really want to be, you will be happier and this will affect all those whose lives you touch.
Accept Yourself Songs
I find that listening to music sometimes helps be accomplish mindset goals. Here are some that use the title “Accept Yourself.” Maybe they’ll help you.
Are you an ’80’s music fan? Then you might like this song by The Smiths. I find it a bit jarring, but I’m not you, right?
Smooth Jazz more your thing? This song might be more up your alley. It has a bit of a country twang, thrown in, too.